An international research group at the Technical University of Denmark is investigating the effects of endocrine disruptors.

In experiments, they have, among other things, exposed pregnant rats to a mixture of thirteen common chemical substances, including bisphenols and phthalates found in plastic products. 

- When we gave one substance at a time, we saw no particular effect.

But when we combined several substances, we saw serious hormonal disorders in the kids, says Sofie Christiansen in The World of Science - The Dangerous Plastic.  

Distance to anus decreased 

The males got nipples and you could also see that the distance between the anus and the genitals decreased.

Normally, this distance is greater in male rats than in females, but in the experiments, the individuals exposed to chemicals became more similar to the females, with a shorter distance to the anus. 

Not sure how people are affected 

The Danish research only shows how rats can be affected by chemicals in plastic.

There is a lack of sufficient research to be able to draw any definite conclusions about how people are affected by endocrine disruptors. 

Do you want to know more about the researchers' search for answers about how chemicals affect us?

Watch The World of Science - The dangerous plastic in SVT Play or in SVT2 on Monday 1 November at 20.00.